THE AGE OF DIVINITY
By B. William Ball
Copyright © 2012 B. William Ball
All right reserved.
Chapter One Origins
We tend to believe that everything must have had a beginning and will have an ending, with a middle in between. No one has ever proved that, so it can be accepted as an article of faith. Once we do, we will then want to know when and how the beginning occurred. When someone is trying to tell a story, he's often told to just start at the beginning. When a beginning is unknown, there are those who will search for it.
We are aware that we live in a universe made up of many elements—galaxies, stars, planets, moons, random particles of matter of many sizes, meteors, comets, and other unclassified debris. Astronomers and scientists have spent many years, a lot of brainpower, and much effort in seeking information about the beginning of our universe. Many religionists will say, "God created it," and for them, that ends the matter. Scientists, however, continue to search for information upon which to base a logical conclusion. Scientists have propounded a scientific theory about the beginning of our universe. They call it the big bang theory. This theory is supported by a preponderance of evidence accumulated over a considerable period of time and tested for accuracy. This is a very complex process, and even if I were competent to explain it all, that is not the purpose here. It will help, however, to mention some of the basic elements of the theory. The story is that, about fourteen to fifteen billion years ago, all the matter in the universe was concentrated into a tiny ball, maybe about the size of a pea. It exploded, sending particles of matter and energy in all directions—first as gas, then as dust, then as consolidated bodies. Thus, the universe was formed—all the stars and all the solar systems with planets, moons, etc. (for example, our solar system) and all the milky way, our galaxy and all the known galaxies and all the unknown galaxies yet to be discovered and all the galaxies that we may never discover and all the meteorites, comets and all the other debris and all the energy—all of that, including light.
Whew! All that from one tiny ball! Yet scientists agree that all the accumulated evidence supports the theory, and no evidence has been found that opposes it. Many scientists are inclined to say, "Now we know how the universe started, so we won't believe in a creator anymore." Some, however, still believe in the existence of God.
But there are still some problems with this scenario. It is certain that the big bang theory is correct, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough to satisfy all the questions. If the universe came into existence by a tiny exploding ball, where did that ball come from? It is not enough to say that it didn't come from anywhere; it just was. That ignores the question of the beginning of everything—including the exploding ball and whatever else that may exist that we as yet have still no scientific information about. Other questions left unanswered by the big bang theory are as follows: What caused the ball to explode? How was it determined when it exploded? What results are to be expected from the development of the widely diverse particles in out universe? What results are to be expected to eventually follow the development of the widely diverse elements of our universe? Can such an intricate system of particles and aggregations of matter and vast immeasurable amounts of energy, laws of physics, and the development of such a huge diversity of life-forms possibly be brought into existence randomly and for no purpose? These are questions not likely to be answered by scientific inquiry. Nor are scientists likely to perceive the answers to such questions as desirable enough to warrant the expenditure of their time, labor, and energy. Scientists seek to discover and verify facts, not to uncover truth. Yet all facts are manifestations of truth, and the truth that underlies facts is of major importance to humans.
That is why we have philosophers. Philosophers are seekers of truth, and they utilize facts, emotions, history, and creative intelligence in the search for it. In the process, they frequently create religious dogmas, which religionists appropriate for the purpose of controlling people in their group in order to bolster their own power, well-being, and for aggrandizement and the accumulation of worldly treasures and adoration by the masses of followers. Once a spiritual idea is transformed into a dogma, it is unlikely to be expanded or improved but is declared to be unchangeable, and it is required that it be accepted unconditionally.
However, not all spiritual ideas become dogmas. Those who seek the truth reject the idea of dogma and utilize their intellectual and emotional powers in a continuing search for more truth. These are referred to, and refer to themselves, as students of truth. Students are, by definition, those who seek to learn more and more. They're not interested in personal power and aggrandizement at the expense of others. I consider myself to be a student of truth, and I have pursued activities that aided me in that search. One of the things that I have already mentioned is a product of that search for truth. That is the idea that there is no conflict between science and religious truth, only one between science and unsupported dogma. Therefore, any religious contention that is refuted by scientific facts cannot be the truth and must be classified as unsupported dogma. The challenge is to find the truth that underlies the scientifically proven facts.
Now it is time to get back to the search for the truth of the beginning of all things. To go as far back in time as we know now leads us to that tiny ball that exploded and formed our universe. All that we know is that before our universe, there was all that matter and energy, which we cannot scientifically explain. Thus, we're pointed toward an explanation that we derived from our spiritual concepts and intellectual reasoning. I have followed that process over many years, and I have formulated an explanation that I believe to be the truth of the matter, and to which, I expect to adhere to until someone can show me where I am in error.
The search for a beginning leads inevitably to the idea that there can only be a beginning that preexisted all else, and that has existed forever in infinity of time. This leads to the idea that there is no time in spirit, but that the only time we have is a device constructed by mankind in order to understand, put into order, and regulate his activities in this physical life. Out of necessity, the time concept, like others, is based on observations of phenomena in our environment. Thus, our year is defined as the time it takes for our home, the earth, to completely orbit the sun. A day is the amount of time it takes for the earth to complete a rotation around its axis. The day is arbitrarily divided into twenty-four equal parts, or hours, which are divided into sixty equal parts or minutes, which are divided into sixty equal parts, or seconds. This is based on the mathematical calculations that consider the earth to be a perfect sphere, with a circumference of 360° and with the rotation at a steady pace. Of course, the basic assumptions are incorrect, as a year is actually about 365 ¼ days, so every four years, we have a leap year with its extra day to catch up or compensate for it. Thus, time is not a completely accurate concept, does not exist in spirit, and does not, as far as we know, exist anywhere else in the universe. Also, spiritually, the only time is now since the past is gone and it no longer exists, and the future has not arrived yet.
So we come to the concept of that which always was, always is, and always will be. We can give it the name of God, and other names have also been used. The first four words in the book of Genesis, "In the beginning, God," express the concept quite well, but it is not enough. We need to come to some understanding of the nature of God, the attributes of God, and the activities of God, which is harder. For thousands of years, religious leaders have decided many things about God that are often conflicting and hard to find evidence of and usually end up as dogma. This is a characteristic of organized religion as it has been developed. Men have invented God as a living being with human characteristics because they were unable to conceive of a god in any other terms. Then they attributed superhuman characteristics to God in an attempt to make Him more understandable and more awe-inspiring.
I see God as the preexisting creator of all things that are. If God created the universe and all that is in it but matter and energy did not exist before that creation, where did he get the material? From the only source available—from himself. Therefore, all matter and all energy is part of God. In addition, all matter is a form of energy. Therefore, there's only energy in existence, in its many forms and manifestations. Since that is the case, God can be said to be energy; therefore, all energy is of divine origin. It is inconceivable that the order in the universe could have occurred randomly, but only through intelligent creativity could it have happened. Therefore, God is intelligence. The idea of an anthropomorphic god is born out of ignorance and childish information, but that is understandable because it was developed in an era devoid of the information and knowledge that has been developed in the last few centuries.
Here, we have it that God is all of everything that exists in our universe. God is spirit, God is love, God is all there is. There is nothing that we can know of or can imagine that is not a part of God. And all that exists is composed of energy, so God is also energy. That includes you and me. We are part of God, and we partake in the characteristics of God. God is intelligence, God is mind, and so are you and I.
Sometimes, there are those who contend that God created everything and then left it alone so that everything is still as it was created. That is one argument against the theory of evolution. That idea denies God's power to create processes as well as matter and energy. To say that God could not, or did not, create the evolutionary process is an attempt to limit God's power. Everything came from God, including the forms that energy and matter take, the processes by which they are formed, the laws of physics, and all laws of nature. Those are divine laws because God is their origin. Scientists don't create—they discover facts. Philosophers don't create—they reason and seek truth.
It is taught in high school science classes and as well as college classes that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be changed from one form to another, and the total amount of energy in existence continues to be the same. Changing energy from one form to another can be used to further the needs and desires of people once scientists will discover the processes that can be used to cause the changes. Note the word "discovered." That means that the processes already exist. Since scientists don't create the processes, they merely discover processes that already existed as part of creation, as part of the big bang beginning of the universe.
Many people confuse facts with truth. Expressions such as "the fact is" and "the truth is" are seen as to mean the same thing. However, that is an illusion that fails to recognize the difference between facts and truth. It is really simple. Facts are changeable; truth is not. Something may be a fact today but not a fact tomorrow or next week or next year or sometime in the future—a new fact may take its place. A simple example: when I was young, I had black hair on my head. That was a fact but not anymore. Now, the fact is I have gray hair on my head. With the way things change, someday, I may have no more hair on my head. If so, the fact would have been changed again. My hair color or its presence was never a truth—it was a fact that had changed. And that is the truth—that facts can change but truth never changes.
As life goes on, we all learn many facts that are mostly originally discovered by others and whose knowledge are passed to us. Sometimes, we may discover a fact and then learn that another discovered it first. That doesn't matter. In this case, it still is a fact that we discovered. And as we continue to seek to discover and learn facts, our lives can also be greatly enhanced. But the more important endeavor is to seek to learn more and more truth. Why is it so important? Even though the facts that we learn greatly enhance our lives, the truth that we learn teaches us how to live our lives, how to interact with others, how to develop our consciousness and understanding of spirit, how to achieve that state of spiritual existence sometimes referred to as heaven. Some religions teach that heaven is a piece of real estate somewhere up there, where we will get to be with God if we're good enough—that is, if we live by the dogma of the church until we die. Of course, to get to heaven, we must die first. There are so many faulty concepts in that teaching that they will have to wait for later in this work to be addressed effectively. For now, it is sufficient to propose a meaning of heaven that is spiritually more sustainable.
Heaven is not a place. It is a spiritual condition in which one is so conscious of the truth that one lives and orders life in a spiritual communion that produces a bounty of joy and happiness that can never be impinged upon by the facts and conditions that seem to be detrimental to so many. And the basis of that heavenly condition is unconditional love felt and consciously expressed in all that we do. Location is irrelevant. Our ticket to heavenly happiness is unconditional and universal love. And we achieve that when we internalize the concept and learn to apply it to all the circumstances of our lives.
Chapter Two The Struggle for Identity
We come into this world, if all is well, in a body developed by the reproductive process, to be used as a vehicle for our use in the physical environment. We developed physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually under the protection of our parents and/or other adults as we mature. At least, if everything goes well, that's the way it work. Exceptions to this process can be addressed later. For now, let's go with what we have.
We bring with us certain attributes that we are not at that time aware of. Some of these attributes are directed toward successful adaptation to the environment where we find ourselves in and to the development of our concepts of identity and our mental and emotional characteristics. We also bring with us, on a subconscious level, characteristics that are remnants of an existence prior to our birth on this planet. As time goes on, and as we interact with our companions, friends and family, and our environment, we struggle to develop an idea of who and what we are—our true identity. We try out many different concepts—abandon some and adopt some—changing constantly as time goes on.
As we mature, we may see ourselves as children of our parents, as a subject controlled by others, as a cooperating member of our family, as a student, as our skills and talents in arts, sports, and other endeavors, as the activities on our own or in groups, as an individual performer or a team member, and we may consider any or all of these as our identity. There are many other possibilities, including our work or profession. Who are you? I'm a lawyer. I'm a teacher. I'm a carpenter. We can go on and on in an effort to determine who we are by what we do. A psychiatrist acquaintance of mine once said, "If you act like an SOB, you are an SOB." He believed that you are what you do. Our society tends to reinforce that belief.
However, I believe that that concept is inverted. What you do does not determine who you are. What you are determines what you do and how you behave, and if you are aware of who and what you really are—a divine spirit—it will influence all aspects of your life.
How can one overcome past ideas and experiences to come to accept the truth that one's true identity is a divine spirit that comes from and is a part of the creator God and is therefore energy, love, and infinite? That can be accomplished by an act of will, by making a decision to replace all old beliefs with the truth of divine origin. This means that each and every human is a child of God, differentiated by God into an apparently separate identity. But the appearance of being separate is an illusion because, although differentiated, we all remain a part of God; therefore, a part of each other. We can recognize each other as such, and we have an urge to reunite with God and with each other. That urge can be called love. This is a spiritual definition of love, and the only definition that is unchangeable and infinite—therefore, truth.
Excerpted from THE AGE OF DIVINITY by B. William Ball Copyright © 2012 by B. William Ball. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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